XC dreams, carbon hoops and new groupset time
Yep, it’s your weekly sneak peak through the portcullis of castle MBR to drool at the exciting new products that have been catapulted over the ramparts.
It’s been a bumper week for us this week with some proper decent kit coming through the doors, so (drumroll please….) here’s Arrivals.
Raleigh took over distribution of Lapierre a few months ago and are now up and running with stock of the new 2018 range. First through the door is a bike for our upcoming XC race bike shoot out, the XR 529.
Touted as a marathon specialist the XR 529 uses a carbon frame to full effect. There’s a metric Rockshox Deluxe RL Debonair out back providing 100mm of travel. Up front, and matching the rear travel is a Rockshox Reba RL suspension fork with handlebar mounted lockout.
SRAM provide the NX 11 speed groupset but Lapierre deviate from the norm with a Race Face Aefect chainset. Formula wheels with stiffness inducing 28mm torque caps at the front are shod with the XC tyre equivalent of Jimmy Choos; Maxxis’ Ardent front and Ikon rear combo.
And did we mention the tyres were tan wall? This seems to add extra desirability points and at least 2 mph extra speed.
RSP Calavera CC28 wheelset
Price: £439.99 front, £499 rear (different options available)
Did you know Raleigh build all their wheels at their headquarters in Nottingham? This pair were laced by Steve and finished by Bob. Ok, there was also a pretty hi-tech robot doing the rest of the work but it’s pretty cool to see a little photo of Bob on each wheel.
The Calavera CC28 brings carbon to the masses in a really impressive package. The carbon rim features hookless beads and a 28mm internal width. So whilst not as wide as some, it’s still perfect for ‘normal’ sized tyres. RSP (Raleigh Special Products) lace the rims to their highest quality Chosen hubs (the rear features a 150 point engagement so sounds like a bag of angry wasps fighting some hungry mosquitos).
Aimed as a set of wheels for trail and ‘enduro’ use, we’re looking forward to testing them against some of the more, ahem, expensive sets on the market. The Calevera CC28 is available in all the main options such as BOOST and XD/Shimano drivers and in both 27.5″ as well as 29″.
Shimano Deore 6000 groupset
That’s a lot of blue boxes, but they contain the latest version of Shimano’s venerable workhorse groupset. Deore has gotten so good now with loads of trickle down features from the likes of XTR and XT, that it remains pretty much all most of us actually need.
Shimano has worked hard on the performance and durability that really the only differences are the overall weight and material qualities used. It’s still ‘only’ ten speed but with the double chainset (yep, unfashionable we know) there’s no wanting for extra gears.
Fassa Defender bike cover
We loved Fassa’s padded Separator, awarding it our coveted 10 out of 10, for providing protection for your pride and joy when travelling in a car or van.
Well now Fassa has developed the Defender as the big brother to the Separator. This wraps over both sides of the bike (compared to the single sided Separator) and closes with loads of velcro strips to encase the bike almost completely for added protection. two additional straps keep it in place and can be used to lift the whole unit, with bike in situ.
The material used is the same as the separator so should prove more than capable of standing up to the rigours of daily use.
Vee Tire Co. tyres
Price: Crown GEM £41.49, Flow Rumba £44.99, Flow Snap £59.99
Vee Tire Co. tyres have been gaining grip in the UK under the likes of Ben Deakin and a whole host of gravity ‘dudes’. And here are the tyres they have mostly been riding.
The Crown GEM is the all-round trail and all mountain tyre. Featuring a Dual Control compound (also available in their Tackee soft compound) with taller side knobs for cornering grip and a less aggressive central tread pattern for lower rolling resistance.
The Flow Rumba is designed as a DH tyre to work in 80% of conditions (barring sloppy mud and super hard pack). Heavy duty casing should make this one tough mother.
Finally we have the Flow Snap looks to be the best tyre for the bike parks, trail centre black runs and enduro. Only available in the soft Tackee compound, the tread pattern looks to be suitable for a wide range of conditions.
The Crown GEM is available in both a 27.5×2.35″ and 29×2.30″ size. The Rumba is only available in 27.5×2.35″. The Snap however is available in 27.5×2.40″ standard or 27.5×2.35″ Enduro Core versions.
Nukeproof Horizon SL saddle
Lightweight, with just the right amount of squidge and a shape that looks ‘right’. The Nukeproof Horizon SL saddle has been developed with the help of team riders such as Sam Hill, who I hear is apparently quite fast. The wat
erproof coating features subtle branding and is matched with a classy copper finish to the steel/titanium alloy rails.
NS Holdfast grips
Boasting the longest length of any single collar lock-on grip on the market, the NS Holdfast is a whopping 148mm long. It’s almost enough to grab in two hands and the use of them will almost certainly require you to move your controls inboard. But they are nice and soft and tacky so they feel great in the hand. Plus they say Hold and Fast on them for added Sailor Luck*.
*It’s like normal luck but a bit wetter.
Right, we’re off to find a frame and forks to get this kit out on test asap. Enjoy!